This is an interesting article. Check it out!
Over-60s are told: go back to university and retrain – Telegraph.
Personally, I do not agree with the proposed Government policy, described in the article and feel that it drastically simplifies a complex problem. Some of the elements include:
1. UK workers do not work as hard and are not as flexible as other workers, especially in countries like China
2. Employment agencies have too much power in the UK market place and have totally commoditized skills & competencies
3. The policy does not focus on the most acute economic needs, namely increasing exports, where vast increase in language skills are required, right throughout the workforce
4. There are vast numbers of over-qualified people already on the bench, look at the interim management industry for example (see my recent blog entitled “Death of the Interim Management Industry?” Part 1 & Part 2)
5. Tax rates are too high and act as disincentive. Perhaps, we need a “professional tax” like France has had for many years, which makes suitable training & re-skilling tax deductible
6. There is too much red tape in the UK, much of it emanating from the EU that leads to inefficiency and waste
7. The UK needs an industry policy to generate acceptable long-term economic growth and and effective strategy to deal with the economic, social and political problems of a mature economy
What do think? Do you agree or disagree? All views are welcome
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An inquiry would be a whitewash because the Government needs the financial support of Big Business which practices ageism on an industrial scale aided by human resource professionals afraid of their own shadows and recruiters and headhunters fixated on commissions.
An impartial inquiry would be kicked into the long grass and the problem would remain.
The real underlying problem for interims and anyone earning less than £250,000 GBP a year in the UK is that the political class do not represent them and are not interested in assisting people get jobs, become more prosperous or improve their lot.
Effectively all but the wealthiest people, are just seen as milch cows to be taxed dry, lied to, fed adulterated food containing horse-meat, donkey and God alone knows what else and then written off without a flicker of conscience whilst the country itself is seen as something which is allowed to decline into obscurity.
Last Thursday’s Question Time was a watershed for me because the entire panel’s response to questions about the economy was to say that there was no alternative to what the Chancellor was doing other than to wait for global economies to drag us out of the mire and that until that happened the “room for manoevre ” was limited. Exports were not mentioned, the £35 billion GBP spent on the Barnett Formula was not mentioned, neither was inward investment, attracting wealthy foreign immigrants, cutting or reducing overseas aid, enterprise creation for the more practically minded, lowering taxes to bring hidden money back onshore.
That told me that either the entire panel were stupid or that a decision has been made at the highest level to run the country into the ground.
Given that the panel had Vince Cable and Lord Heseltine on it – one can rule out stupidity so the answer is a rundown.
Perhaps I am too cynical but the facts bear me out because well over 90% of the country’s wealth and the Queen’s wealth is held offshore in a mixture of interlocking trusts, brass plate companies and differently named entities.
Interims and almost everyone else are very much on their own and need to either do something else or move themselves to where work actually exists.
Surely, the point is that the Over-60s policy initiative is yet another knee-jerk reaction to try to deflect news comment from too many probing questions?
I agree that the current Government needs the support of Big Business. However, Big Business can’t vote at the next election but the Over 60s will have long memories
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An odd sidewise thought about unintended consequences.
Traditionally students are radical in thought and occasionally in deed.
What if the policy suggested by Mr Willetts created a network of over 60’s university based radicals, with time on their hands, and with the experience, gravitas and leadership skills to mobilise their younger student associates.
That would be amusing.
PS. I can so see you in that role. 🙂
Hi Adam, I agree, it is important to retain a sense of humor and see the funny side. I wonder if the cartoonists have seized the opportunity yet?
Perhaps, the Minister envisions grandparents receiving their new degrees arm-in-arm with their grand children?
Thank you for considering me for the role of mature-student agitator:)
On a more serious note, this policy would appear to be directed to over-60s from A and B Social Classes? What does the Minister propose for the C, D and E Social Classes?
I agree with all the points you make because they are factual.
UK worker productivity fell 20% after the Olympics, the Jubilee,the tennis and the snow from 60% to 48% or 106 working days out of a possible 220 for the Private Sector and to 32% for the Public Sector (70 working days out of a possible 220).(Sources:ONS).
Our Private Sector productivity was 15th in the world but we are now 16% behind the average for the G7 and even 3% behind Italy.
The biggest reason for not going along with David Willetts’s suggestions is ageism.
Even if the over 60s were to obtain MBAs, develop computer skills, apply impression management and take anti-ageing compounds like GH3 as I have been doing for years they would run up against ageism which is still rife despite changes in the law which came into force on 1st October 2006.
John, many thanks. I agree with you about ageism.
In my view, part of the problem emanates from the powerful recruitment and consulting industries lobbies.Perhaps, we need an independent enquiry?